Michael Harris II and the Atlanta Braves had already lost one superstar for the season, and over the weekend, things got worse.

Reigning National League MVP Ronald Acuna Jr. joined ace Spencer Strider on the season-ending IL with a torn left ACL after faking toward third and attempting a return to second base. ACL tears are extremely rare in baseball, and now Acuna has torn both in four years.

Atlanta, already six games behind Taijuan Walker and the Philadelphia Phillies at the start of play Monday, will now look to remain in the playoff hunt without two of the best players in baseball.

Harris was open with his feelings about losing Ronnie for the season.

“It’s a huge hit to this team. The kind of player he is, what he does for us. For him to go through it once but now have to go through it twice I know that really is hitting him hard. He’s changing the game, he does a lot of things that people can’t do and he does it at a high rate. Obviously last year his numbers speak for themselves.”

With their best offensive weapon lost for the season, Harris knows that it will take a team effort to replace his production. “We’ve gotta try even harder to do little things to get momentum in games. Pitchers are still doing a phenomenal job, we just got to step up at the plate a little more and help them out.”

Harris has started to find his groove at the plate, despite his power numbers still lagging behind. Over his last seven games, Michael is hitting .310 with one home run for the Braves.

Atlanta is no stranger to life without Ronnie (they won the 2021 World Series while he was recovering from his first ACL tear), so General Manager Alex Anthopoulos is likely to hit the trade market to help bolster a Braves roster that is still talented enough to make the playoffs.

Tommy Pham Can Help Atlanta

One name that the Braves should certainly look at is Chicago White Sox outfielder Tommy Pham. Tommy was signed by Chicago after the injury to All-Star centerfielder Luis Robert Jr. with all intentions of being dealt by the trade deadline.

Pham has been productive for Chicago since his arrival, slashing .307/.352./.799 with three home runs and 12 RBI in 114 at-bats. While those numbers pale in comparison to the 2023 NL MVP, Tommy is a veteran who has proven he can provide a spark to a playoff team.

Last season, the Arizona Diamondbacks acquired the veteran outfielder and he was one of their top contributors throughout their run to the World Series. Pham hit .429 in the NLDS and despite the loss, hit an impressive .421 with three doubles in the World Series.

Chicago is at the bottom of the AL Central with no intentions of contending in 2024. A call from Atlanta would be more than welcomed.

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